For todays lesson we will be covering a topic of historic and lexicographic interest. As you know, in ancient and Biblical times the inhabitants of the Middle East had a lot of time on their hands. (Hence the Sons of Abraham-- three faiths [Judaism, Christianity, Islam] sharing theology, prophets, sacred sites, and even sacred texts-- and yet each works for the destruction and expulsion of the other two!) A side effect of this was tolerance for extremely long proper names.
Amazingly enough, many of these names have entered the English language. And so, in the interest of spiritual enlightenment and building power vocabularies, allow me to present...
15) Abelbethmaachah: Kings 1 15:20, Kings 2 15:29. A city in Israel. MODERN USAGE: Euphemism to describe two people you don't know making love. EXAMPLE: "Yeah, that Earth First! rally was disgusting. Never seen so much sleeping-bag abelbethmaachah in my life."
14) Almondiblathaim: Numbers 33:46-47. Another Israeli settlement. MODERN USAGE: Insult. The literal translation out of the Hebrew is "Place of men who blather about almonds all the time"; thus, almondiblathaim is used to mean people who go on and on about something you could give a hoot about. EXAMPLE: "Oh, great, the programmers are coming over. Don't ask them how work is going; instant almondiblathaim."
13) Apharsathchites: Ezra 4:9. Inhabitants of yet another city. MODERN USE: Geological techspeak. EXAMPLE: "No, you knucklehead. Apharsathchites have don't mica inclusions, now, do they? Which means this is? Think... come on... Christ! It's GRANITE, you pinhead!"
12) Berodachbaladan: Kings 2 20:12. King of Babylon. MODERN USAGE: Medical assistant techspeak. Used to describe the sound a full bedpan makes when dropped.
11) Helkathhazzurim: Samuel 2 2:16. Battlefield in Gibeon. MODERN USAGE: Onomatopoetic description of accidental death resulting from a stream of urine striking an electrified third rail.
10) Merodachbaladan: Isaiah 39:1. Another spelling of Berodachbaladan, King of Babylon. MODERN USAGE: Medical assistant techspeak: Used to describe the sound a full bedpan makes when dropped on a doctor's foot.
9) Ramathaimzophim: Samuel 1 1:1. Samuel's home town on Mount Ephraim. MODERN USAGE: Stew produced by a collective. EXAMPLE: "Hey, I bet some crab meat would go really well in this!" "Go ahead, Al! It's a ramathaimzophim!"
8) Tilgathpilneser: Chronicles 1 5:6, 5:20; Chronicles 2 28:20. King of Assyria. MODERN USE: A specific type of potent Czechoslovakian pilsner prepared with ox tails.
7) Zaphnathpaaneah: Genesis 41:45. Joseph's Egyptian name. MODERN USAGE: The practice of freebasing mothballs.
6) Bashanhavothjair: Deuteronomy 3:14. The name Jair son of Manasseh gave to the country of Argob. MODERN USAGE: The practice of achieving hegemony over a patch of land the size of an olive pit, naming it after yourself with a five syllable jawbreaker, and then proceeding straight into historical oblivion.
5) Chepharhaammonai: Joshua 18:24. Still another Israeli city. MODERN USAGE: The practice of pretending ham is chipped beef, still practiced by guilty members of the faithful to this day.
4) Kibrothhattaavah: Numbers 11:34-35, 33:16-17; Deuteronomy 9:22. A cute bit in the wandering of the Jews in the desert. Chapter 11: Everybody's in the desert. They're getting sick of manna. People start wondering why they left Egypt; they ask Moses for flesh. Moses talks to YHVH. YHVH promises 30 days of flesh. YHVH send a great cloud of quails. People pig out. And then:
11:33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.
11:34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.
MODERN USAGE: Fast food meat contaminated with feces.
3) Selahammahlekoth: Samuel 1 23:28. Where Saul laid off the pursuit of David and went off to beat up the Philistines. MODERN USAGE: the amount of sexual humor one can make in the workplace without being hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit.
2) Chushanrishathaim: Judges 3:8-10. King of Mesopotamia. YHVH got ticked at the Jews because they "served Baalim and the groves" [Judges 3:7] and so Chushanrishathaim got to enslave them for eight years. MODERN USAGE: A guy who could have been a contender for serious fame, but wasn't allowed to be evil long enough to ensure his reputation.
1) Mahershalalhashbaz: Isaiah 8:1, 8:3. The child of Isaiah and "the prophetess." No other mention is made of this woman. The child is used in Isaiah 8:4 as a measure of time ("For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria")-- and is never mentioned again. MODERN USAGE: Fruit of a sexual relationship between a famous person and a bimbo-- when the famous person SWEARS the relationship was purely a professional one.